How to make a Christmas card or flier - Elegant style

This is another Christmas card/flier/invite tutorial using Inkscape.  This one will be a bit more elegant and feature a Christmas tree made of snow flakes.

Step 1 - Background

Create a rectangle.  Change the color to something fairly dark.  I did blue.  Red or green would probably have been a better idea for making a bit more Christmassy.

Do a radial gradient.  The center of the gradient will be white and the outside will get progressively darker.  Place the white part of the gradient where you will be placing your star for the tree.

Step 2 - Making the tree

I like to draw a rough outline of what the tree will look like.  I also create a bunch of different snowflakes.  For the snowflakes, you can make them by hand, download some online, or even use a snowflake font that you can download from

I personally chose to make all my snowflakes by hand.  Inkscape has a really easy way of doing this.  Just select the star tool and set the spokes to 6.  Play around with the other settings until you get something that looks like a snowflake.  You will want to do 4-7 different types of snowflakes.

Once you have the snowflakes created, copy and paste them inside the rough tree outline you made.  Create a large variety.  Change the sizes; rotate the shapes. Lower opacities and blur some.

When you place your snowflakes, try to keep the larger ones more in the center with the smaller flakes on the outside.  Also try to place ahead for the swirls you will be making in your next step.

Step 3 - Making the swirls

Use your pen tool to create a curved line as shown above.  Press CTRL+L until it is completely smooth, or just manually adjust the nodes until you have something you are happy with.

Copy the line and paste it right next to the original.  Select both of the lines then press CTRL+K.  This will allow you to join the end nodes by selecting both and pressing the "Join Selected Nodes" button.

Adjust the nodes till you get the shape you want.

Add a fill color.  Do a radial gradient with the middle being the darkest and the outsides being the lightest.

Copy and paste the swirls all the way down the tree.  You will need to edit the nodes for each swirl.

Create a white drop shadow behind the swirls by copying each swirl and changing the color to white.  Add a blur and lower the opacity.

Step 4 - Place a star on the top of the tree

Use the star and polygon tool again and create a star (with only 5 spokes this time).  Adjust the settings till you get a star you like.

Using the same tool, create a new star with many spokes. 
Adjust the settings till you get something similar to what you see above.  I like to make the stroke size extra large so it gets an effect I like.  This is a hit and miss kind of thing...  I worked on this part for about 5 minutes until I got something I liked.  Obviously yours does not need to look the same.  Just do something you like.  Once you have the shape created, place it behind the star; change the color of the shape to be similar to your background and put a radial gradient on it so that the outside fades out.

Copy and paste the shape you made and make it smaller.  Place this behind the star as well.  Change the color to white.

After you have done that, you can copy your background and select it with the star shape going outside the screen and clip it (Object>Clip>Set).

Step 5 - Add snow for the ground

Create a shape similar to as seen above with your pen tool.  Add a white gradient so it looks like snow.

Step 6 - Add Text

Add your text.

Here is a detail view of the tree.

About McKay Christensen

After having lived in Oregon, Alaska, and China for the past 10 years doing landscape design and English teaching, I have returned to my home state of Utah and currently work for a growing tech company.

In my free time I enjoy working on my website where I post tutorials and reviews (and anything else I think is geeky) and I also like to write songs for my Super English Kid Youtube channel.

My favorite things to do include anything with my wife and son. Hiking, camping, and photography (or anything else outdoors). Playing Ultimate Frisbee or Ping Pong. Listening to 60s, 70s, or 80s, music. 

Feel free to contact me using my contact page. I would love to hear from any of you!


  1. Nice tutorial!! Thanks!

  2. Glad you like the tutorial! I am hoping to do a few more Inkscape tutorials soon.

  3. Hi Mckay.

    That's a great tutorial. I'm a beginner and still testing the waters so to speak.

    Could you be kind enough to direct to a link of yours with step by step and detailed buttons to click on for creating such magnificent work of art.

    Many thanks

  4. The tutorial is shit!!!!

  5. lol, your lds. thats cool

  6. as am i. lol. i am actually trying out your tutorial right now., haha. never ever used inkscape before so i have no idea how to do 90% of the tutorial. haha. my wife is trying to show me. haha


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